It is vital that children are administered the correct dosage of medication when they suffer from cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) outside a hospital. A new study presented at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting, discussed the dosage error rates in a program called "LA Kids."
In that program, paramedics were mandated to use a Broselow tape (a weight-estimating tool) and report weight-based color-codes to the base station. Additionally, base station personnel were taught to use a color-coded dosing chart.
Prior to the "LA Kids" program, during the period 1994 to 1997, only 28% of 104 children with CPA received the correct dose, while 44% received a dose within ą20%. After the LA Kids program was started, in the period 2003-2004, 57% of the children received the exact dose and 70% were dosed within ą20% of the exact dose. Therefore, a child was 3.4 times as likely to receive an exact dose after the program began as before, and was 2.6 times as likely to receive a dose within 20% of the exact dose.
The study is "EMS System Changes Reduce Pediatric Epinephrine Dosing Errors in the Prehospital Setting" by Amy H Kaji MD, Marianne Gausche-Hill MD, Heather B Conrad MD, Kelly D Young MD, William J Koenig MD, Erin Dorsey RN, and Roger J Lewis MD. This paper will be presented at the 2006 SAEM Annual Meeting, May 18-21, 2006, San Francisco, CA on Saturday, May 20, 2006 at approximately 11:45 AM in Salons 1-3 of the San Francisco Marriott. Abstracts of the papers presented are published in the May issue of the official journal of the SAEM, Academic Emergency Medicine.
Contact: Linda Gruner
Society for Academic Emergency Medicine